Rene Furterer master class: runway 101


All was serene and relaxed at the presentation of the Elizabeth and James Spring 2013 collection of draped silks, taffeta trousers and oversized blazers, inspired by the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets of Morocco. When celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend and designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen first began to talk about the concept for the hair look that would epitomize the collection meant for the young, chic traveler, Mary-Kate was clear about the starting point—she wanted a middle part. From there, the collaboration between Mark and the designers evolved to deliver a look that was deceptively effortless and care-free, but in sync with the same meticulous attention to detail the Olsen team gives to their designs.

Working with the high-performing styling products from René Furterer to create artfully tousled bobs or loose, low ponytails, Mark perfected the art of imperfection. “We want the hair to look like you can throw it up yourself, as if you just stepped off the plane after a week of traveling,” says Mark. As for the direction in texture and finish, Mark added, “We’re also getting away from high shine and keeping the hair more matte, yet clean and fresh.” Speaking of sharing the same aesthetic as the Olsens, Mark says, “I love playing with texture, and so do they.” (Which was evident in the choice of taffeta, jacquard, metallic cotton and distressed linen for the Elizabeth and James collection.) Celebrity makeup artist Sarah Lucero, Global Director of Creative Artistry & Education for Stila Cosmetics, completed the look with a palette of warm desert tones for eyes, lips and cheeks. Here, a look behind the heavy black curtain with Mark in Studio 10 at Industria in NYC, where all the hairstyling magic began.

«  First, I applied René Furterer VOLUMEA volumizing foam and gave the length a blow-out with a diffuser to get the look of a slight natural wave. The genius of this mousse is that it blows out really well. You can let the hair dry naturally or do a round-brush blowout for volume. But here we wanted the look of freshly washed hair—as if we hadn’t used any product at all. Then the length is wrapped in a bun to set.

«  Next, I made a middle part. In front I sprayed hair with only a  tiny amount of René Furterer GLOSSING SPRAY as we wanted to keep the hair clean and matte on top, and then did a round-brush blowout. Next, I took a curling iron and directed loose waves away from the face.

«  After unpinning the bun and allowing hair to drop, I loosened it up and made a low ponytail, wrapping one section around the base for more of a finish. To gently secure the hair at the nape, I slipped in a few pins, just enough to define the shape. I wanted the hair to look as if it could become undone at any second, but it’s my job to keep it secure throughout the presentation.

«  Next, I blasted the top with René Furterer NATURIA dry shampoo—it delivers the  right texture, and is also invisible in the hair, which is so important for the runway, where bright lights and flashing cameras can pick up any powdery residue. I massaged the dry shampoo through the hair—we actually went through 12 cans of the dry shampoo backstage!

«  Next, to enhance the texture exactly where I wanted it, I sprayed natural-bristle toothbrushes with René Furterer VEGETAL FINISHING SPRAY and strategically brushed small sections.

«  To refine and texturize the ponytail, I hit it with with René Furterer NATURIA dry shampoo, and then did a few tweaks with a curling iron, just enough to bring out a slight wave. We wanted the hair to look clean and fresh, but also like you’ve been traveling for a week.

«  Loosening a few pieces around the face gave the look a care-free ease. To style the bobs, I followed the same steps, but without making the ponytail

«  Last, for all looks, I did an overall misting of the dry shampoo. This was to take down some of the high shine delivered by the GLOSSING SPRAY but still result in beautifully texturized hair with a softer, natural, healthy shine.

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